Live TV Musicals Ranked by Ratings, From 'Annie Live!' to 'Grease' (Photos)

Thursday show marked the long-awaited return of broadcast TV’s modern-day, live musical productions

Photo by: Paul Gilmore/NBC

NBC’s “Annie Live!” debuted Thursday, when it was the first new live musical production to air on broadcast TV since ABC’s “The Little Mermaid Live!” premiered in November 2019.It also marked NBC’s return to the genre, which it hasn’t ventured into since “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” on Easter Sunday of 2018, and the first of the Big 4 networks’ live-TV musicals to be made during the COVID-19 era.So naturally, all eyes were on how the Taraji P. Henson- and Harry Connick Jr.-led “Annie Live!” performed in TV ratings and viewership, as that’s going to be used as an indicator of what “Tomorrow” looks like for the genre. On the plus side, “Annie Live!” averaged 5.155 million total viewers, which was better than Fox’s “Rent” and “A Christmas Story.” Unfortunately, “Annie” ranks dead last in the key demo of adults 18-49, though that may be more of an indicator on how young adults view broadcast television in late 2021 vs. late 2019.Scroll through our gallery to see how each of broadcast TV’s modern-day, live musical productions rank by Nielsen numbers. Lowest-rated is first, highest-rated is last.

Rank: 11Musical: “Annie Live!”Date: December 2, 2021Network: NBC18-49 rating: 0.9Total viewers:  5.155 million

Rank: 10Musical: “Rent”Date: January 27, 2019Network: Fox18-49 rating: 1.4Total viewers:  3.415 million

Rank: 9Musical: “A Christmas Story: Live”Date: Dec. 17, 2017Network: Fox18-49 rating: 1.5Total viewers: 4.481 million

Rank: 8Musical: “The Passion”Date: March 20, 2016Network: Fox18-49 rating: 1.6Total viewers: 6.648 million

Rank: 7Musical: “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!”Date: April 1, 2018Network: NBC18-49 rating: 1.7Total viewers: 9.607 million

Rank: 6Musical: “Hairspray Live!”Date: Dec. 7, 2016Network: NBC18-49 rating: 2.3Total viewers: 9.045 million

Rank: 5Musical: “Peter Pan Live!”Date: Dec. 4, 2014Network: NBC18-49 rating: 2.4Total viewers: 9.211 million

Rank: 4Musical: “The Little Mermaid Live!”Date: Nov. 5, 2019Network: ABC18-49 rating: 2.6Total viewers: 8.978 million

Rank: 3Musical: “The Wiz Live!”Date: Dec. 3, 2015Network: NBC18-49 rating: 3.4Total viewers: 11.498 million

Rank: 2Musical: “Grease: Live”Date: Jan. 1, 2016Network: Fox18-49 rating: 4.3Total viewers: 12.206 million

Rank: 1Musical: “Sound of Music Live!”Date: Dec. 5, 2013Network: NBC18-49 rating: 4.6Total viewers: 18.624 million
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